Work and Wellbeing · 20 August 2018

Why micro businesses need to prioritise work and wellbeing and how to get started

Work-related mental ill-health is costing businesses up to £26bn every year.

Feeling run down? Overwhelmed running your business? A new wellbeing collaboration from AXA PPP healthcare for small business owners can help you manage health and wellbeing to get the most out of your day, one step at a time.

One in four micro business owners missed Christmas Day in 2017 due to work commitments, says a study from finance platform, Ultimate Finance. If you’re one of these people, there’s no need to be a statistic. Have you stopped to think about your own health recently?

A poor work and life balance could be putting your physical and mental wellbeing at risk. Every business owner wants to ensure their company succeeds, but overlooking the impact of long hours and work-related stress will eventually compromise both business performance and health.

For employers leading small teams, the health and wellbeing of staff is equally important to managing cashflow. While, according to the Institute of Directors, there’s been a notable rise in the number of employees raising mental health issues with their employer, work-related mental ill-health is costing businesses up to £26bn every year through lost productivity and working days, according to the mental health charity, mind.

Why work and wellbeing go hand-in-hand

To help micro business owners prioritise health and wellbeing in the workplace without sacrificing productivity, Business Advice has teamed up with AXA PPP healthcare to support their SME Work and Wellbeing programme – a collaboration with cross-industry business leaders. Its aim is to showcase real-world experience to support and inform small and developing businesses of the importance of health and wellbeing in the workplace.

AXA PPP healthcare is working in collaboration with four entrepreneurs passionate about work and wellbeing to help fellow business owners and their staff think about health in a positive way.

We caught up with some of these business owners to see how small changes can deliver positive results for businesses and the people running them.

Does your environment inspire you?

Establishing a health-conscious workplace can aid staff retention and recruitment. Gina Conway, who owns a London-based salon, knew that creating a business where employees enjoyed coming into work was crucial.

“People are looking for natural solutions to a busy and often crazy world,” she said. “My salons are a small oasis where people can escape and rejuvenate. I always aim to hire people who thrive in these environments and are naturally warm towards others.”

Do you take time for recovery?

A personal ill-health experience caused Andrew Humphries, co-founder of innovation accelerator The Bakery, to rethink his approach to workplace wellbeing.

“Two years ago I was diagnosed with prostate cancer completely out of the blue, which was a real knock as I’ve always been relatively fit and healthy,” Humphries said. “I’m thankful that I can call myself a cancer survivor but it has made me more conscious of becoming ill and how it impacts both myself and my team.

“It is important to encourage staff not to struggle in to their desks when they’re not well and allow time for recovery.”

Too many small business owners have struggled to access the support and resources they need to run their company without sacrificing health. These business owners are passionate about developing wellbeing cultures and know what it takes to cultivate a healthy environment that will help a small business succeed, proving that work and wellbeing are essentially two sides of the same coin.

Visit AXA PPP healthcare’s Work & Wellbeing programme for inspiration for your business.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Simon Caldwell is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and communications from the University of Liverpool, and has previously worked as a content editor in local government and the ecommerce industry.

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